about, how it started, who knew about it, and is he a victim or is he a perpetrator. let's bring in tom scocca, who is the managing editor of deadspin.com, and howard fineman, also with us tonight, nbc news political analyst and editorial director of the huffington post media group. gentlemen, good to have you with us. tom, you first. rather bizarre story. how long did it take your staff to unearth this? >> it took about five days from when we got the first tip to being ready to publish it. because we got this tip, and it seemed like it had to be crazy, that this widely covered person didn't exist. so we put jack dickey, one of our reporters, on the records and tim burke went after the online side of it to try to find any evidence that she existed. and it was -- it was sort of a scary or confusing thing to do because what kept happening is we just kept not finding her.